Your Curriculum

Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education
Associate of Applied Science Degree Program

Catalog Year 2013-2014 

MHCC Faculty Advisors:
Josh Stratman (503) 491-7201- PE115

The MHCC Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) program will foster the education of individuals to become outdoor leaders and teachers competent in providing a safe and effective outdoor experience in various activities and environments. The program curriculum provides opportunity for individual certification, national organization affiliations and partnerships and outdoor leadership practicum.

Graduates of the WLEE program will receive training for preparation for the following individual certifications: First Aid /CPR, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace, Swift Water Rescue Technician, Challenge Course Facilitation and Avalanche Level I and Level II training.

The outdoor leadership practicum component incorporates leadership development, mastery of wilderness skills and backcountry expeditions under the guidance of qualified instructors.

The highlight of the program is the immersion term. Students will be immersed in many intentional opportunities to develop their technical outdoor skills in a variety of land- and water-based outdoor pursuits and most critically, to fine-tune their teaching and leadership abilities.

Specialized training and experience is an asset for any job and a necessity for many jobs in the outdoor adventure and recreation fields. Employers are consistently looking for applicants who have demonstrated critical thinking and decision making skills, leadership experience, team building and group management skills while also possessing standard industry certifications such as Leave No Trace (LNT), Challenge Course Facilitation, Swift Water Rescue and Wilderness First Responder (WFR). An increasing percentage of the arts, entertainment and recreation industry is being captured by outdoor recreation.

Graduates of this program may find opportunities in adventure leadership programs, adventure and wilderness therapy programs, adventure travel and tourism businesses, college and university outdoor programs, commercial outdoor recreation businesses, ecotourism agencies, outdoor related publications, public and private school outdoor programs and outdoor retail operations.

The ideal WLEE student is one who has a passion for the outdoors and adventure. Students may be recent high school graduates, returning veterans or professionals who have already attained degrees who are returning to school to follow their life-long interests.

Program Outcomes
At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Perform CPR/ first aid, Leave No Trace, Swift Water Rescue, Avalanche Awareness and Wilderness First Responder skills in accordance with industry standards
  • Plan, implement and evaluate high quality and safe adventurous learning experiences for others in a variety of activity areas
  • Identify and adhere to professional practices in the outdoor industry
  • Behave appropriately in both self directed and shared learning environments
  • Demonstrate sufficient dexterity to perform work and function safely in various outdoor expeditions
  • Perform a variety of administrative functions important to adventure programming

The Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education program is a limited-entry program. Prospective students are accepted into the program after meeting the selection criteria for the program. Applications are available on our website at

It is recommended that students begin this program during the fall term; however, students may be allowed to take some courses out of sequence with instructor approval.

First Quarter (Fall)  Credits 
HPE285OL  Wilderness Survival 3
PE185KY  River Kayaking 1
PE185RK  Beginning Rock Climbing I 1
PE285OA  Backpacking and Camp Management 3
PE285OH  Adventure Education 2
PE285ON  Outdoor Leadership 2
PE285OY  Wilderness Orientation 2
PE294OA  Methods of Teaching Outdoor Activities 3
WL186  Leave No Trace 2
Second Quarter (Winter) 
HPE295  Health and Fitness for Life 3
PE185OT  Snowboard and Ski: Backcountry Safety Skills 1
PE185SB  Beginning Snowboarding and Skiing 1

Place Mapping: Place-Based Learning Methods


Professional Activities: Outdoor Leadership Field Skills


Winter Camping


Backcountry Winter Mountain Travel


Introduction to Water Sports


Avalanche Training: Level I


Alpine Rescue

Third Quarter (Spring) 
PE185RKI  Intermediate Rock Climbing 1
PE285WTB  Intermediate Water Sports 1
WL153  Wilderness First Responder Certification 4
WL160  Adventure Trip Planning and Risk Management 2
WL171  Expedition Field Experience: Backpacking 2
WL172  Expedition Field Experience: Rock Climbing 2

Expedition Field Experience: White Water Rafting

WL174  Mountaineering Field Skills 2
WL177  High Angle Rescue 1
WL182  Swift Water Rescue Technician 1
Fourth Quarter (Fall) 
PE280  Cooperative Education Internship1  1-3
WL210  Challenge Course Facilitation 2
WL222  Outdoor Recreation Program Planning 3
WR121  English Composition 4
  Human Relations requirement‡ 3
Fifth Quarter (Winter) 

Intermediate Rock Climbing: Expedition Preparation

PE280  Cooperative Education Internship1  1-3
WL245  Avalanche Training: Level II 2
BA250  Small Business Management 4
MTH065  Beginning Algebra II (or higher)‡  4
  Physical Education elective 1
Seventh Quarter (Spring) 
WL225  Outings Program Leadership 2  3
WL240  Recreation Program Implementation 3
PE280  Cooperative Education Internship1  1-3
  Related electives 6
  Total Credits  97 

1 Students must complete a minimum of six credits of cooperative education internship. Internship may be completed by taking any combination of PE280A through PE280F, in two of the three terms listed.

‡ See page 20 of the printed catalog.

Related Electives
Students must complete two of these three courses
FT235        Outdoor Recreation 3
HT245        Ecotourism and Adventure Travel 3
PS217        Introduction to Public Land Management: The Politics of Recreation 3

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 Last Modified: 10/16/2013 02:42:28 PM